Last week, Avram Hornik reopened Ortlieb’s, the jazz bar at 847 N 3rd St. that closed down a couple of years back, when it was under other management. According to Uwishunu, several of the bar’s old fixtures were preserved, but the place definitely has a new, shinier look. And the kitchen apparently has a newdirection as well, with Tex-Mex being bar food of choice.

One thing that hasn’t changed, unfortunately, is the blight that surrounds this business.

Same place, new sign

Vacant lot next door, brewery in the distance

One of the top jazz clubs in America, for a couple of decades, Ortlieb’s rose out of the ashes of the Ortlieb’s brewery, which closed down in 1981, according to PhilaPlace. Over the past three decades, most of the old brewery has remained, though it’s been disintegrating as time has passed. Windows have been shattered, graffiti is everywhere, and the building was open to the elements for a number of years.


A few months ago

Also in the past

Earlier this year, owners Tower Investments made an effort to seal the building, which was clearly posing a danger to the neighborhood. It’s perhaps safer now, but still looks terrible.

Looking up on American St.

Another view

We have no doubt that Tower, which officially took possession of this property less than a year ago according to public record, has a plan for this site. We just hope that whatever that plan is, it 1) preserves at least some of the brewery buildings that remain, and 2) can be executed before these buildings are beyond saving.

We imagine the people who live and work nearby, as well as the patrons of the newest incarnation of Ortlieb’s Lounge, would all be on board. It’s just a shame to see these buildings deteriorate before our eyes.

Has anyone out there heard about any plans?